S&P Global (China) Ratings Enters China’s Domestic Bond Market


S&P Global (China) Ratings is authorized to rate issuers and issuances from:

  • Corporates
  • Financial institutions
  • Structured finance
  • Panda bonds


To support China’s long-term efforts to develop the country’s capital markets and attract foreign investors, the government has opened its financial sector to international credit rating agencies. Previously, foreign companies were only permitted to take a non-controlling minority stake in a domestic Chinese credit rating agency.

In January 2019, S&P Ratings (China) Co., Ltd., a wholly owned, indirect subsidiary of S&P Global, was granted a license to operate as a credit rating agency and became the first wholly foreign-owned credit rating agency licensed to operate domestically in China. Based in Beijing with a team of around 50 employees, the new rating agency was officially launched in March 2019 and soon after issued ratings and cross-sector research under the brand name S&P Global (China) Ratings and 标普信评. 

The company employs its own ratings’ standards, criteria, and methodology, with compliance and control standards derived from those of S&P Global Ratings. It has adopted a national rating scale in recognition of the size and diversity of China’s domestic capital markets, applying a methodology relevant to those onshore markets. S&P Global (China) Ratings is also working with S&P Global Market Intelligence to meet the needs of fixed-income investors interested in China, bringing new depths of insight and analysis to this significant market.

China’s Domestic and Offshore Bond Markets

  • China’s offshore bond market: 
    S&P Global Ratings currently rates offshore bonds for hundreds of companies in China, including issuances in Renminbi and other major currencies. In 2019, S&P Global (China) Ratings began working with many of these same issuers and assigned domestic ratings to Chinese issuers and debt.
  • China’s domestic onshore bond market is one of the largest bond markets in the world. S&P Global (China) Ratings’ entry represents a significant opportunity given high demand for more transparency and greater granularity around credit risk in the Chinese market. S&P Global views this as a longer-term initiative as China’s debt market develops over the next three to five years.

China’s bond market is one of the largest in the world

Total Bonds Outstanding

Domestic and International Debt Securities
(dollars in trillions) (as of 12/31/2019)


(1) Domestic only

Source:  Bank for International Settlements

Approximately 25% of financing in China is through bond financing

as of 6/30/2020

Bond financing: 25% Bank loans: 61% Equity financing: 3% Other: 2% Shadow banking: 8%

Source: People’s Bank of China

Foreign investors are increasing in China’s bond market

Chinese Bonds Held by Foreign Investors

(yuan in trillions)

’13 ’14 ’15 ’16 ’17 ’18 ’19 June2020 2.60 2.19 1.73 1.15 0.80 0.65 0.57 0.40

Sources:  China Central Depository & Clearing, Shanghai Clearing House

S&P Global (China) Ratings’ entry into China’s domestic bond market is a long-term initiative that will develop over the next three to five years


Beginning in September 2018, the bond financing category was revised to include both corporate and government bonds. Previously, only corporate bonds were included

Updated Information